Pocono Mountains Music Festival

Pocono Mountains Music Festival


NEW WORKS – “Danny and the Rocket”

Friday, August 4, 7:30 PM
Smith McFarland Theater, East Stroudsburg University
Tickets $30

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Always eager to support and promote the talent of young writers, the Pocono Mountain Music Festival is once again pleased to partner with NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to present a new theatrical work. This year, we’re excited to share with audiences Danny and the Rocket, a new musical by Casey O’Neil and Marella Martin Koch.
This performance is generously underwritten by a grant from an anonymous donor.

Danny Masucci has been building rockets for years; it’s the only thing that makes sense to him. After a number of failures, he seems to have finally succeeded in designing a new, hyper-efficient model. A public launch is scheduled when his Nonna (grandmother) suddenly passes away. Reeling from the loss, Danny begins to discover an entire world he previously avoided. As he begins to do more and more on his own, he becomes more connected with the people around him – from the young teacher Gloria whom he begins a relationship with, to his over-excited intern Steve. But as the challenges of intimacy begin to rear their heads, Danny discovers love has a steep learning curve.

Marella KochAbout Marella Martin Koch

Marella Martin Koch is a librettist, playwright, and director, born in LA and based in NYC. She earned a BA in Theatre and Performance Studies from UC Berkeley and an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. For three years, she worked with Academy Award-winning filmmaker and renowned activist Haskell Wexler.

Marella’s writing has been presented by 54 Below, Barrington Stage Company, Common Man Musicals, National Asian Artists Project, Rogue Machine Theatre, Theatre Mab Town Hall, TheatreWorks, and more. She wrote the screenplay for the musical short film Luv, Connected?! and is the librettist of several short operas and musicals, including Adam & Eve (music by Minhui Lee), which performed at the Kraine Theater; I Celebrate (music by T.J. Rubin) for “Park and Bark” with American Opera Projects; and Marianne Dashwood, Songs of Love & Misery (music by Aferdian Stephens), which premiered at UCLA and will be performed at Yale School of Music and the Jane Austen & The Arts Conference at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Full-length projects include the libretto for John Dumpty: A Grand Opera (music by Aferdian Stephens); the book for Bed (lyrics by Faye Greenberg, music by David Evans); and book and lyrics for Danny & The Rocket (music by Casey O’Neil), which will be workshopped at the Tisch New Musical Theatre Workshop in Spring 2017.

Casey O'NeilAbout Casey O’Neil

Casey O’Neil is a composer, lyricist, writer, and conductor native to the NYC area. He received a BM in Trombone Performance from the Eastman School of Music and an MFA from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. His music can be heard in concert works, films, podcasts, song cycles, operas, and musicals. Selected credits include: The Essentials, a feature film; Soft & Salty Winds, for orchestra (winner of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra composition competition); Danny & The Rocket, a new musical (book & lyrics by Marella Martin Koch); Hank & Elodie’s Magic Book Adventures, a comic series (illustrations by Joel Golombeck); and The Bonekeepers, a short opera (libretto by Sophia Chapadjev). Most recently, he produced a reading of his newest show, co-written with Greg Moss, The Great Cat Massacre.